Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

Fit or Fat – they aren’t mutually exclusive (also, other ramblings)

I don’t remember exactly how old I was. I was probably six or seven years old, maybe eight at the most. I grew up in Burleigh on the Gold Coast, and in the mid 80s there was only one shopping centre nearby for your regular weekly shopping. I remember that there used to be a bookshop out the front of Woolies, which is where Mum used to do her weekly shopping.

I remember this one day fairly well, and it all came back to me last night. We had been to the shops and we must have wandered into the bookshop. There was a tape there, called “Fit or Fat”. I wanted it. No, I needed to have it. I begged Mum to buy it for me (remember, I’m under eight). She tried to dissuade me, telling me that it wasn’t going to help me not be fat any more. Eventually she relented (I was a hyperactive child, so it was probably just easier for a cheap audiotape).

There I was, a child, knowing that it was wrong to be fat and that I needed something to help me be fit. I was defective, I was ugly and I wanted out. I have tears welling up remembering that day, and how… sad isn’t strong enough, but how sad it is that such a young boy felt the need to be different. I felt so uncomfortable in my body and so unhappy.

I started weight watchers when I was in Year 7 at school. I lost weight too, by eating celery sticks with peanut butter, or Weet Bix with Vegemite. This was before the points system, where I was required to count the number of serves of protien, vegetable, fat, etc that I had eaten. I was weighed, just like the rest of the adults, and went to the meetings. Oh how horrible it all was, looking back on it.

That wasn’t my last foray with Weight Watchers. I think it was in 1999/2000. Actually yes it was. I lost 20kgs. I went to the shops one day at Australia Fair and I remember standing out the front of K-Mart and ringing my Mum excitedly (My mum and I are very close). “I can fit! I can fit into an XL!!!” I was so excited and happy.

Forever since then I dreamed of fitting back into an XL. An XXL would have been ok, because at least I could shop at some normal shops.

I’d love to write “Oh and now I’m just awesome and never get depressed by this” but I think it’s important that I say that I’m not there yet, not all the time. Many days I’m just happy to be who I am, but some days are harder than others. I think that’s normal for anyone, no matter their size. You find your “issues” and get depressed about them, but then get over it and grow.

Ugh, that sounded almost like a self-help guru. Save me.

I got off point, which is good. It means I wrote what came to me, not what I planned. I had meant to play around with the title of the audio tape, and say that being Fit and Fat is possible. Well, I’ve done that, but I think I’ll get into it more another day.

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